Italy: TAP Inspects Seabed Along the Future Pipeline Route

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Italy: TAP Starts Seabed Survey Along the Future Pipeline Route

The Trans Adriatic Pipeline started a near-shore survey near San Foca, Lecce, in Italy on Tuesday, the 24th of January. The purpose of the survey is to collect samples of the soil on the Adriatic seabed along the future route of the natural gas pipeline, which plans to bring Caspian gas to southern Italy.

TAP is undertaking a seabed survey in order to further refine the routing of the proposed pipeline, given the planned landfall location on the coast between San Foca and Torre Specchia Ruggeri in the municipality of Melendugno (Lecce).

The survey involves the utilisation of a jack-up platform near the shore to perform a geotechnical soil investigation. The soil is both tested directly at the platform (by advanced scientific instruments) and samples are taken for testing at a later date in an onshore laboratory. The soils are tested to a depth of maximum 20 meteres below the seafloor.

Depending on the weather conditions, the jack-up platform should complete its acitivities by the middle of February. The jark up right will then be moved out and it will replafced by a barge which will complete the scientific investigation. This barge will be in the San Foca area until the middle of March depedning again on weather conditions.

The subsea survey is carried out by the TAP project with the support of sub-contractor D’Appolonia, an Italian leader in engineering with core competencies in civil, geotechnical, and environmental engineering; geology and geophysics; and hydrology and hydraulics.

Paul Pasteris, TAP’s Country Manager for Italy, said: “I would like to assure the local residents that this marine survey is being carried out according to the highest international standards on environment and safety and it will not cause any damage to the terriotory and the environment. TAP has applied and received permits for this work both from: the Municipality of Melendugno and from the Port Authority of Otranto. TAP appreciates the cooperation of the community which will provide logistical support to the team performing the investigation.”

In February 2012, TAP will organise a public meeting with the community of Melendugno (Lecce) to present to the residents and any other interested parties the proposed location of the pipeline. This meeting will be an opportunity for all community members to ask questions and raise any concerns they may have.

The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) is a proposed natural gas pipeline project that will transport gas from the Caspian region via Greece and Albania and across the Adriatic Sea to Italy’s Puglia region. It will help to deliver safe, secure energy supplies to the Italian energy markets for the future.

TAP is preparing to submit its Environmental and Social Impact Assesment Report to the Italian authorities (Ministry of Environment) in February 2012. Construciton of the pipeline is expected to start in 2015, should TAP be selected as the preferred gas transportaiton solution by Shah Deniz Consortium in Azerbaijan later this year.

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Offshore Energy Today Staff, January 26, 2012; Image: TAP

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